Sunday, June 29, 2008

Oregon Football.......Go Ducks!

What others are saying:

"facilities, atmosphere, stadium, and fan support play a major role as well. Oregon is arguably the best (most rabid) fan base in the Pac-10. It is the closest thing to an SEC gameday that there is on the West Coast. So clearly the Ducks have an advantage in that department over almost every school in the Pac-10."

Braden Gall, who is a content producer and recruiting editor for Athlon Sports. The website is (click on the title for a link)

This may be the reason ESPN "Game Day" came to Eugene Oregon twice in the 2007 season. How Long till football season?

Saturday, June 28, 2008

2008 Olympic Track and Field Trials

The 2008 Olympic Track and Field Trials started yesterday in Eugene Oregon at Hayward Field on the University of Oregon campus. This year Eugene, Oregon aka "Track Town USA" is hosting the US Track trials which will pick the United State Track and Field Team for the Olympics late this summer in Peking, China. (yes I like the old spelling). NBC will broadcast an hour of highlights both on Saturday and Sunday night. Check your local schedule. For more information click on the title for a link to the Eugene Register Guard which has excellent converge. More than 25000 attended the opening last night and the place has the feel of "A Bowl Game" and an upscale "Street fair."

Watching over the Olympic Trials is a statute honoring Bill Bowerman, the Oregon Track coach who coached Steve Prefontaine and founded Nike along with Phil Knight. Read the book "Bill Bowerman and the Men of Oregon" to understand what he meant to Oregon Track and the the US Track program.

When in Eugene, stop by "Track Town Pizza" across the street from the University of Orogon campus on Franklin Blvd. for some of the best pizza in the world. I can taste it now. The place is not fancy but is a shrine to Oregon athletics.
A great placd to go after a game or a track meet and they have TV's with sports events too!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Drive In Theaters

This time of year I think back fondly of the Drive In Theaters of my youth. In the post World War II era of the 1950's families were trying to find an entrainment option as they raised the "baby boom" generation. What follows is an "oldie goldie post" of a few years ago.

I loved Drive In Theaters as a kid.In fact, if I were to pick the favorite thing of my youth it would be Drive In Movies. I grew up in Ogden, Utah; Boise, Idaho; Roseburg, Oregon; and Coos Bay/North Bend, Oregon in the 1950's. Each of those towns had drive in theaters. I can remember going to two or three movies a week in Ogden in the summer before we had TV. This was when I was 4 or 5. My dad didn't like indoor movies because as he said there was always someone behind him chewing on gum which he hated. My mom would make us sandwiches (usually tuna) along with Kool-Aid in a thermos and cookies.(Coke was too expensive) There was always a commercial before the intermission between double features for the snack bar food. I remember an ad for a foreign food I had never heard of called "pizza". My dad said it tasted like card board so we never got any. My mom loved pop corn so we always got some. To draw family's the theaters sometimes had special attractions like pony rides or steam engine train rides. They all had playground equipment we would play on till the movie started. The movie always started with a cartoon I remember running to the car as the cartoon started. I even loved and still love the previews. Before the movie dad's would often turn on their spot lights and play games on the screen.

The movies, or shows as we called them, often were not in retrospect that good. I can remember Ma &Pa Kettle, Here Come the Nelsons ( Ozzie and Harriet before TV) and the Bowery Boys. Not real sophisticated stuff. But their was always John Wayne. I can remember campaigning for weeks to go see "Blood Alley". Not because I knew anything about it other than it's name and John Wayne was in it. I loved saying "Blooooood Alley." I knew if Jeff Chandler was in a movie I could talk my mom into going. My sister who still likes to go to bed early would always sleep through the second feature but not me. The sound was usually terrible but I loved the big screen and how it transported me out of small town America in the days before color TV. Most of them are gone now the victim of VCR and now DVD and high land prices.

Check out my updated DVD Collection

Click on the title for a link. Starting to get some blu ray titles.

Hot Time in Medford!

99 degrees today 102 degrees tomorrow. I will do my yard work early tomorrow. Made in the shade.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

John McCain Videos

Click on the title above for a link to moving video on John McCain on You Tube.

Below is a link to another You Tube video on McCain set to surfer music.


VICTORY for the Second Amendment

(Picture, minutemen standing their ground with their guns at Lexington Commons against the British Army)

The 2nd Amendment to the United States Constitution:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Justice Scalia writing for the majority of the United States Supreme Court on June 26, 2008:
There seems to us no doubt, on the basis of both text
and history, that the Second Amendment conferred an
individual right to keep and bear arms.

The second shot heard round the world!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

No KFC chicken for the Democrats!

The Colonel's Kentucky Fried Chicken and all other fried foods are banned from the Democrat convention in Denver this summer.

That's right! If you don't believe me check out the news story from the Wall Street Journal by clicking on the title above for a link. But that's not all!

In order to have a "green" convention the humorless puritans who now run the Democrat party have the additional requirements:

1. All food shall have at least three of the following colors.... red, green, yellow blue/purple and white. What no chocolate cake or brownies. No donuts! How about donuts with red, green and yellow sprinkles? Will yellow mustard, green pickles and red ketchup on my hot dog count?

2. 70 % of the food must be grown locally to minimise emissions for transportation. Do they have a Krispy Kreme bakery in Denver? Good thing Coors beer is made nearby.

3. All 15000 fanny packs to be used by volunteers must be "organic" cotton made by union labor in the USA. Who still wears a fanny pack?

4. The volunteers also must wear "organic" cotton baseball caps made by union labor in the USA. To date they have been unable to find either the hats or the fanny packs.

5.The balloons must be "biodegradable." At Jimmy Carter's 1980 convention they couldn't even get the balloons to fall from the rafters. Maybe that was the problem.... they dissolved before they could be dropped.

6. 900 volunteers will hover at waste-disposal stations to make sure delegates put each scrap of trash in the proper bin. Lest a fork slip into the wrong container unnoticed, volunteers will paw through every bag before it is hauled away.How much energy is expended to have 900 "volunteers" travel to Denver to monitor the "waste-disposal stations? I think there should be a rule that a volunteer must live in Denver and ride to the convention on bicycles made in the United States by union workers!

If this is how they are going to run their convention... just think what they will be like when they control the Congress, the Presidency and the Supreme Court.

Well.... I will be watching the Democrat Convention eating my barrel of KFC chicken wearing my University of Oregon hat made in Bangladesh and remembering what happened to my Republican party when we impose Prohibition on the country after World War I.

Lessons of History

The wonderful thing about the study of history is that it gives a person a perspective on current events.So as we are struggling with high gas prices and a downturn in the housing market think of the sacrifice John Adams made in 1778 during the Revolutionary War. At the request of Congress, in February of 1778, he sailed from Boston to France to represent the United States and hopefully gain French help in our War of Independence from England. In the dead of winter he left his lucrative law practice, his wife and small children alone on a farm for over a year while a war raged across the original 13 colonies. He had already spent much time away from his family in Philadelphia representing Massachusetts in the Continental Congress and his wife did not want him to go. When he left he did not know when or if he would return. He had never been to Europe or out of Massachusetts except his trips to Philadelphia.. Accompanied by his oldest son he crossed the North Atlantic in winter on a small Continental Navy frigate. They had to avoid capture by the British Navy, the largest navy in the world. They were chased by several British warships. If captured he would have been taken to London and could very well have been tried and hung as a traitor. In the 1700's in the best of time a trip across the North Atlantic on a small wooden sailing ship took 45 days and was a dangerous and uncomfortable trip. The son who accompanied him was John Quincy Adams who also later became a President of the United States.

So suck it up America..... these are not the worst of times and it's not even close!

John Adams DVD *****

This last weekend I finished watching my DVD set of the HBO miniseries on the life of our second President John Adams. I highly recommend it. The first, second and seventh episodes are the best. The first deals with Adams marriage to Abigael and his career as a young attorney in Boston. It emphasis his defense of British soldiers who fired into a Boson mob killing several people. The second deals with the drafting and adopting of the Declaration of Independence. The seventh and final episode deals with the death of his wife and his correspondence with his old enemy Thomas Jefferson. The other episodes deal with his acting as an ambassador in France and the Netherlands during the Revolutionary War, his acting as ambassador to the British Court of Saint James, Vice President, and as President. The series does a good job of not glamorizing or romancing life in the 1700's. The primitive medical practices are graphically demonstrated and is not for the faint of heart. I thinks the series spends too much time on John Adams one son who was an alcoholic who abandoned his family and was "denounced" by his father. If I had one major criticism it would be the series emphasise on the sadness and tragedies of John Adams life over his many accomplishments. The man did have his weaknesses but his devotion to the United States and his willingness to make personal and family sacrifice to help establish this country should be something for which we are all thankful.The actress who plays his wife is very good and his relationship with his wife is a big part of the series. I also enjoyed the actor who played Thomas Jefferson. Listened to the duologue between Jefferson and Adams was worth the cost of the DVD.

The second episode about the Declaration of Independence was my favorite and is the best "movie" on it. Up until this John Adams HBO miniseries the musical "1776" had been the best dramatization;however, this is better.

As a side note, watching this series with my son, who is home from history graduate school for the summer , made it even more special.

My rating: 5***** out of 5***** Every school boy and girl should see this miniseries.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Obama's Moving Bottom Line

Richard Cohen of the Washington Post has an excellent column today on the difference between John McCain and Barak Obama. (To read more click on the title for a link.)

"But here is the difference between McCain and Obama -- and Obama had better pay attention. McCain is a known commodity. It's not just that he's been around a long time and staked out positions antithetical to his Republican base. It's also -- and more importantly -- that we know his bottom line. As his North Vietnamese captors found out, there is only so far he will go and then his pride or his sense of honor takes over. This -- not just his candor and nonstop verbosity on the Straight Talk Express -- is what commends him to so many journalists."

"Obama might have a similar bottom line, core principles for which, in some sense, he is willing to die. If so, we don't know what they are. Nothing so far in his life approaches McCain's decision to refuse repatriation as a POW so as to deny his jailors a propaganda coup. In fact, there is scant evidence the Illinois senator takes positions that challenge his base or otherwise threaten him politically. That's why his reversal on campaign financing and transparently false justification of it matters more than similar acts by McCain."

To read the entire column click on the title for a link.

William Bennett: "10 Concerns about Barack Obama"

William J. Bennett & Seth Leibsohn give 10 policy reasons why Barak Obama should not be our next President!

(I have only posted the 10 heading, to read the complete analysis for the 10 points click on the title for a link)

1. Barack Obama’s foreign policy is dangerous, naïve, and betrays a profound misreading of history.

2. Barack Obama’s Iraq policy will hand al-Qaeda a victory and undercut our entire position in the Middle East, while at the same time put a huge source of oil in the hands of terrorists.

3. Barack Obama has sent mixed, confusing, and inconsistent messages on his policy toward Israel.

4. While his Mideast policy may have been the quickest turnaround or flip-flop on a major issue, it is not the only one. In the primary campaign, Barack Obama consistently campaigned against NAFTA, but has now changed his tune, as he has with other issues.

5. Barack Obama’s judgment about personal and professional affiliations is more than troubling.

6. Obama is simply out of step with how terrorists should be handled; he would turn back the clock on how we fight terrorism, using the failed strategy of the 1990s as opposed to the post-9/11 strategy that has kept us safe.

7. Barack Obama’s economic policies would hurt the economy.

8. Barack Obama opposes drilling on and offshore to reduce gas and oil prices.

9. Barack Obama is to the left of Hillary Clinton and NARAL on the issue of life.

10. Barack Obama is actually to the left of every member of the U.S. Senate.

I have only posted the ten concerns. Click on the title for a link to Bill Bennett's analysis for each of the ten concerns.

Ducks get the loan!

The Oregon State Treasure's office last Wednesday sold 200 million dollars in government bonds to finance the building of the University of Oregon's new basketball arena. They got a great interest rate that will save the Athletic Department about $900,000 a year in interest over what was recently projected. To read the Oregonians story on the bond sale click on the title for a link. Go Ducks!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Obama smears Republicans as Racist... plays the race card card!

John J. Pitney, Jr., Professor of Government at Claremont McKenna College in Southern California and one of my favorite political commentators writes:

On Friday, Senator Obama warned a cheering audience about the Republicans. “They’re going to try to make you afraid of me. He’s young and inexperienced and he’s got a funny name. And did I mention he’s black?”

A few months ago, historian Sean Wilentz dubbed this tactic the “race-baiter card.” Smear your opponents as racists, and if there’s no evidence for the claim, accuse them of using “coded language.” There is no authoritative racial codebook, so the charge is easy to lodge. The campaign need not make such accusations directly, since sympathetic writers will do so.

To read the entire article click on the title for a link.

I fear for my country

"It is almost a law of history that the same wealth that generated a civilization announces its decay. For wealth produce ease as well as art; it softens a people to the ways of luxury and peace and invites invasion from stranger arms and hungrier mouths."

Historian Will Durant author of "The Story of Civilization"

Have we lost our will to fight? Our enemies have not!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Summer, It's officially here! (Updated)

Those lazy hazy crazy days of Summer.

Well this weekend I was able to re stain and waterproof the three decks that surround our house on three sides and refinish the front door. Also had time to watch some NETFLIX movies and finished the DVD set of the HBO miniseries."John Adams." It was very pleasant outside and the family had lunch on the back deck on Sunday. Also drove to Ashland and purchased tickets to see "Othello" for our son's birthday in July at the outdoor Shakespearean theater. He rode with me so it's will not be a surprise. He loves his Shakespeare. I only read it when I had to for English class in high school and college.

Field Photo Farm (UPDATED)

After World War II, Movie director, John Ford created the "Field Photo Home" aka Field Photo Farm for the members of his unit the "Field Photographic Division" of the Offices of Strategic Services the forerunner of the CIA. During the war,John Ford had been in charge of a photographic unit made up of Hollywood cameramen and other movie crew members who filmed the war. After the war he wanted to create a memorial to the members of his unit who had died in the war and a place where the veterans of the unit could come with their families and enjoy the comradeship they had enjoyed during the war. Thus, he bought some farm land with a house. He then used his salary from "They Were Expendable" to improve the property. He built a chapel on the property and inside was inscribed the words of A.E. Housman:

"Here dead lie we because we did not choose to live and shame the land from which we sprung."

In the house were separate glass case memorials for each of the thirteen men of the unit killed in the war.

In the house was a well used bar! With John Ford, how could there not be one. The property was used for the annual Christmas party, Saint Patrick's' Day parties,weddings, funerals and of course Memorial Day commemorations. There were also picnics, square dances, barbeque's and a rodeo. In 1946 there were 176 active members. John Ford loved to plan ceremonies with military precision reminiscent of the ceremonies you see in his "cavalry trilogy" movies made about the same time.(Fort Apache, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon" and Rio Grande)Dan Ford, his grandson in "Pappy" his excellent biography of his grandfather writes:
In a very real way my grandfather recreated the world of his pictures at the farm; the gatherings had the same sense of community that his films had. Everyone that was close to him, whether they were veterans of his unit or actors from his troupe, became involved with the Farm. It was a cult, a true community and one of the most unique institutions ever created in Hollywood."

The house also had a bedroom permanently reserved for Will Bill Donovan,the head of the OSS during the war.

Nothing stays the same forever and by 1965 the members of the Field Photo Home had moved on with their lives and the property became a financial burden on John Ford. It was little used except for funerals. The land was sold to a San Fernando real-estate developer and the proceeds donated to the Motion Picture Relief Fund. The chapel was moved to the Woodland Hills Country Home.

UPDATE: I found this on a blog about the San Fernando Vallley History

After his service in World War II, director John Ford wished to honor thirteen colleagues who did not return from overseas service in the Naval Field Photographic Reserve. The unit, which Ford commanded, was made up mostly of cinematographers, actors and writers such as Garson Kanin and Budd Schulberg who traveled the world chronicling the war on film. Many others, including Ford’s good friend John Wayne, tried to get in but were turned away.

Ford raised the money to purchase a twenty-acre ranch at 18201 Calvert Street in Reseda for the use of Field Photo veterans and their families. Field Photo Memorial Farm and its bar, the Starboard Club, became their private postwar drinking hole and a center of Valleywood socializing around the pool and horse barn.

Christmas parties at the farm were famous. A stagecoach might rattle up the long driveway with Jimmy Stewart up top playing "Jingle Bells" on the accordion and accompanied by a Santa played by Burl Ives, Andy Devine or another large-bodied actor. But the farm had a more somber side.

Each Memorial Day, members dressed in their old Navy uniforms, stood in formation and recited the names of the fallen, muttering after each name, "died for his country." When actor Harry Carey died in 1947, his body lay in state in the farm chapel for two days, with an honor guard and his horse Sunny hitched outside.

Before long, however, some members tired of the club and Ford’s insistence on certain rituals, which actor Robert Parrish complained was like an "all-male extension of the Navy." The farm fell into disuse and closed in 1965. The site is now a housing tract.

(For more information read "Pappy The Life of John Ford" a loving biography by his grandson Dan Ford and click on the title for more information on the history of the San Fernando Valley)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Ward Bond

One of my favorite members of movie director John Ford's "stock company" was Ward Bond. He was a good friend of John Ford and John Wayne both on and off the screen. They loved to play cards and get drunk together on John Ford's sailing boat. Ward Bond is best remembered as the wagon master of the 1950's/1960's TV series "Wagon Train." The following is from Wikipedia:

Bond attended the University of Southern California and played football alongside John Wayne, who would become a lifelong friend and colleague. Bond was a starting lineman on USC's first national championship team in 1928. Wayne and Bond, along with several other football players, were recruited to play football players in a film about the United States Naval Academy.

Bond made his screen debut in 1929 in John Ford's Salute, and thereafter played over 200 roles. He was frequently typecast as a friendly policemen or as a brutal thug. He had a long-time working relationship with directors John Ford and Frank Capra, performing in such films as The Searchers, Drums Along the Mohawk, The Quiet Man, and Fort Apache for Ford, with whom he made 25 films, and It Happened One Night and It's a Wonderful Life for Capra. Among his other prominent films were Bringing Up Baby (1938), Gone with the Wind (1939), The Maltese Falcon (1941), Sergeant York (1941), They Were Expendable (1945), and Rio Bravo 1959). He later starred in the popular NBC western television series Wagon Train from 1957 until his death. Wagon Train was based on the 1950 movie Wagon Master, in which Bond also appeared.

The wide-shouldered 6`2" Bond appears in more of the films on both the original and the tenth anniversary edition of the American Film Institute's 100 Years... 100 Movies lists than any other actor: It Happened One Night (1934), Bringing Up Baby (1938), Gone with the Wind (1939), The Grapes of Wrath (1940) , The Maltese Falcon (1941), It's a Wonderful Life (1946) and The Searchers (1956).

Bond has also been in 11 films that were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture, which is more than any other actor:[2] Arrowsmith (1931/32), Lady for a Day (1933), It Happened One Night (1934), You Can't Take It with You (1938), Gone with the Wind (1939), The Grapes of Wrath (1940), The Maltese Falcon (1941), Sergeant York (1941), It's a Wonderful Life (1946), The Quiet Man (1952) and Mister Roberts (1955).

According to

Ward Bond died on November 5, 1960 of a heart attack. His wife Maisie was with him at the time of his death. Legendary director John Ford, accompanied by Harry Carey, Jr. and Ken Curtis (Ford's son-in-law and later, Festus on Gunsmoke) left the filming of Two Rode Together and flew to Dallas, Texas to escort both Bonds back to Los Angeles.

Funeral services were held at the Field Photo Home, run by Ford. Curtis sang "And He Was There" and Carey sang "The Mormon Hymn." John Wayne gave a brief eulogy.

Director John Ford loved to make fun of Ward Bond and would often film him from behind showing his ample rear. When watching old movies, it always brings a smile to my face when Ward Bond appears in one of his many character roles.My favorite is his role as the "The Reverend"/Texas Ranger in "The Searchers." I love the following dialog between Wayne and Bond

REVEREND CLAYTON (BOND):"Well, the prodigal brother. When did you get back? Ain't seen you since the surrender. Come to think of it, I didn't see you at the surrender."
ETHAN (WAYNE): "I don't believe in surrenders. Nope, I've still got my saber, Reverend. Didn't beat it into no plowshare, neither."

ETHAN(WAYNE: "Figure a man's only good for one oath at a time; I took mine to the Confederate States of America."

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Who will be Oregon's Quaterback this fall?

1st.********* #7 Nate Costa (projected starter)***************

Position: Quarterback
Height: 6-1
Weight: 220
Year: Sophomore
High School/Other College: Hilmar HS, Cal

2007 — Set to redshirt behind Heisman Trophy candidate Dennis Dixon and senior Brady Leaf, he would have been UO’s go-to quarterback following Dixon’s injury, but suffered torn knee ligaments of his own during practice in October.

2006 — Brought out of his redshirt year in the eighth game of the year, completing all three of his pass attempts for 51 yards against Portland State. Also perfect in two tries at USC for 22 yards. Carried the football seven times for 39 yards, including 25 yards against the Trojans. Calmly marched Oregon downfield in his collegiate debut vs. the Vikings, capping a 98-yard drive with a touchdown. Also made the most of his lone possession in the L.A. Coliseum, with the offense coming up 3 yards shy of the end zone in the waning moments of the game.

Coaches like him but he has little experience and has played little in the last year due to injury. Did not play in spring game. Was third on the depth chart behind Dixon and Leaf last season before he was injured in practice.

2nd********#11 Justin Roper************************

Position: Quarterback
Height: 6-6
Weight: 205
Year: Sophomore
High School/Other College: Buford HS, GA

From Buford, Ga.

2007 — Ended the season as the Ducks’ top signal caller and helped UO to a Sun Bowl victory over South Florida with a bowl record four touchdown passes in his first career start. Was 17 of 30 for 180 yards and zero interceptions against the Bulls. After he replaced Oregon’s fourth quarterback to go down with an injury, few knew what to expect of the redshirt freshman when he entered the game in the regular-season finale. What he almost pulled off was the stuff that legends are made of. Forced to make the first extensive appearance of his collegiate career, the Georgia native’s first pass of the day was good for a 31-yard touchdown. His seventh resulted in a 3-yard score. He ran into the end zone from 7 yards out in the third quarter. And he moved the offense 40 yards downfield in less than a minute to position his team for a potential game-winning field goal that fell short. He finished the game against Oregon State completing 13 of 25 passes for 144 yards. That occurred one week after he was successful on only one of five passes for 8 yards at UCLA. The remainder of his collegiate resume consisted of the final 5:31 against Washington State, in which he completed his lone pass attempt for 10 yards.

2006 — Shared duties quarterbacking the scout team during his redshirt year.

My favorite. He looked good in Sun Bowl win and in this years spring game. He doesn't practice well but is "a gamer."

3rd.********* #_Jeremiah Masoli****************************

JC transfer,Jeremiah Masoli, who quarterbacked City College of San Francisco to a junior college national championship as a freshman last fall, committed to Oregon this spring and should start practice this August.

Masoli, 6-feet and 200 pounds, accumulated more than 4,000 yards of total offense for the Rams in his first season. As a full academic qualifier out of high school, he was eligible to transfer to a Division I school after just one season in junior college. Masoli ran for 448 yards and 11 touchdowns, giving him 4,040 yards of total offense for the JC Grid-Wire national champions.

Jeremiah Masoli attended Serra High School in San Mateo, Calif. — alma mater of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady — for three years before transferring to Saint Louis High School in Hawaii for his senior season. He graduated in 2006, and grayshirted that fall before beginning his college career last fall.

Another Denis Dixon who can run and pass in the spread offence?

4th.********* #3 Chris Harper,******************************

QB 6-2 230 Fr. Wichita, KS (Northwest)

He graduated from High School early so he could register at Oregon and participate in spring practice. Looked good in the spring game. has the ability to run and break tackles. Will need to work on his passing game. Also may be another Denis Dixon. Will probalby red shirt this year unless there are a lot of injuries.

5th.********* #1 Darron Thomas, ************************

QB 6-3 202 Fr. Houston, TX (Aldine)

He also graduated early from High School so he could register at Oregon and participate in spring practice. Looked like a freshman in the Spring Game Should red shirt this year .

Two QB's where took part in spring practise have or will transfer

#12 Cody Kempt,

6-2 210 So. Beaverton, Ore. (Westview HS)

Kemp played last year after Dixon and Leaf were injured and did not play very well and has or will transfer to Montana State. I wish him well.

#2 Cade Cooper,

6-3 215 Jr. Provo, Utah (BYU) (Timpview HS)

Cooper was a non scholarship transfer from BYU who did not play very well in the spring game and did not earn himself a scholarship and will or has transferd to Southern Utah. I wish him well.

(Click on the title for a link to a story on Oregon's Offensive Coordinator Chip Kelly)

John Adams DVD

Last night I spend the best $35.00 I have spent in a long time. I bought the newly released DVD set of the HBO "John Adams" mini series. We do not subscribe to HBO so I missed the series last spring on TV. Since it was released on DVD I have been comparison shopping. It was $60.00 at Circuit City. It was $40.00 at Wal-Mart. It was $35.00 from . However, last night while shopping at Costco with my son and wife I found it for $35.00. I got the LAST one they had. I looked through their DVD section THREE times before I found it turned backwards and mixed in with another group of DVDs. I later saw the price sign where it should have been located but the spot was filled with another DVD set. After we got home the three of us watched the first episode and my son and I watched the 2nd episode that took us up through the signing of the Declaration of Independence. All I can say was it was very powerful and I loved the actress that plays Abigale Adams. I will write a complete review here after I have watched the complete series. The Series is based upon David McCullough's book of the same title which I have read and is also excellent.

(click on the title for a link to a review of the DVD "John Adams")

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Summer In Medford

We have now passed two of the three markers for the beginning of Summer. Memorial Day Weekend and the day schools is out in the Rogue Valley have come and gone. The only marker left to pass, in three days, is Saturday June 21st. The official start of Summer. Medford seems deserted since school "let out" last week. We have had the best weather of the year this past week. It seems like "everyone has gone to the moon." It's been in the 70's and the summer stretches before us in all it's splendor. Plans are already being made for the 4th of July! Our son is home from graduate school,for the Summer. and has started his Summer job at an Oregon owned "big box" store as a cashier. He has worked there for five Summers and they have been very good to him. We already have plans for another outdoor Britt Concert in August..... Judy Collins and I have my motel reservations in Eugene for Oregon's first football game of the season against the Washington Huskies Labor Day Weekend. It will be a night game for TV. Our son wants to go to Ashland for the 4th of July. He also want to go to a Shakespearean play in Ashland at the outdoor theater in July for his birthday. I have invited my sister to come down for a Summer visit. This weekend, I will re-stain and water proof all the wood decks around our house and later I have plans for some other outdoor home improvement projects. Let's not forget the Republican and Democrat Conventions and the Olympics. Now, if only I could find a drive-in theater! Time for ice tea.

"Iraq has reached a truning point"

This from James Tranto of the Wall Street Journal:

Here's a classic from the Associated Press, reporting from Baghdad:

Signs are emerging that Iraq has reached a turning point. Violence is down, armed extremists are in disarray, government confidence is rising and sectarian communities are gearing up for a battle at the polls rather than slaughter in the streets.
Those positive signs are attracting little attention in the United States, where the war-weary public is focused on the American presidential contest and skeptical of talk of success after so many years of unfounded optimism by the war's supporters.
So don't expect to read any more about it from the AP. After all, you're just not interested

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Indina Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull ****

Indian Jones is back and it's now the 1950's and "I like Ike"! This morning my wife and I drove down to Tinseltown here in Medford to watch the forth and latest Indian Jones movies and it was a lot of fun. The action you have come to expect is there; but, more importantly to me was it was a fest of nostalga for aging "baby boomers." It was like a bunch of baby boomers were sitting around the table and each one had an idea on the 1950's that they wanted to slip in to the movie. I don't want to give up too much but, "Gang, what time is it? It's Howdy Doody Time!" Many younger movie goers, say those less than 50 years of years of age, will miss a lot of the fun; but, they are there for the action. The high point for me was Karen Allen was back. That's the Karen Allen of the first Indian Jones movie and of "Animal House" fame. She is looking older now but aren't we all. On a 5 * scale I give this move 4*'s.

Friday, June 13, 2008

June 14th FLAG DAY

I grew up an unapologetic "Flag Waiver" and I will die one! I love "Old Glory" !

The Star Spangled Banner
By Francis Scott Key

Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

Tim Russert Dead at 58......RIP

He died of an apparent heart attack.

Tim Russert, the host of "Meet the Press," TV News show, on NBC who rose from the inside world of politics where he was former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo's press secretary and one-time chief of staff to the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, was able to successfully cross over to political journalism and rise to become one of its leading lights. Even if he was a liberal I liked him. He never lost his 'blue collar" Buffalo, New York roots. He was a big fan of the Buffalo Bills NFL football team

My condolences to his family and friends. A fellow political junkie. He died too young! RIP

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Justice Scalia's Dissent! .....UPDATES

The US Supreme Court ruled Thursday that foreign suspects held at the high security military jail at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have rights under the American constitution to challenge their detention in US civilian courts. The following is from Justice Scalia's Dissent:

America is at war with radical Islamists. The enemy
began by killing Americans and American allies abroad:
241 at the Marine barracks in Lebanon, 19 at the Khobar
Towers in Dhahran, 224 at our embassies in Dar es Salaam
and Nairobi, and 17 on the USS Cole in Yemen. See
National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the
United States, The 9/11 Commission Report, pp. 60–61,
70, 190 (2004). On September 11, 2001, the enemy
brought the battle to American soil, killing 2,749 at the
Twin Towers in New York City, 184 at the Pentagon in
Washington, D. C., and 40 in Pennsylvania. See id., at
552, n. 9. It has threatened further attacks against our
homeland; one need only walk about buttressed and barricaded
Washington, or board a plane anywhere in the
country, to know that the threat is a serious one. Our
Armed Forces are now in the field against the enemy, in
Afghanistan and Iraq. Last week, 13 of our countrymen in
arms were killed.The game of bait-and-switch that today’s opinion plays
upon the Nation’s Commander in Chief will make the war
harder on us. It will almost certainly cause more Americans
to be killed. That consequence would be tolerable if
necessary to preserve a time-honored legal principle vital
to our constitutional Republic. But it is this Court’s blatant
abandonment of such a principle that produces the
decision today. The President relied on our settled precedent
in Johnson.


It breaks a chain of precedent as old as the common law
that prohibits judicial inquiry into detentions of aliens
abroad absent statutory authorization. And, most tragically,
it sets our military commanders the impossible task
of proving to a civilian court, under whatever standards
this Court devises in the future, that evidence supports
the confinement of each and every enemy prisoner.
The Nation will live to regret what the Court has done
today. I dissent.

After the next terrorist attack that kills hundreds if not thousands of Americans we will not need another commission to pin the blame.

"today’s opinion.....will make the war harder on us. It will almost certainly cause more Americans to be killed." ( Justice Scalia)

UPDATE: James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal:

"Perhaps decades from now we will learn that detainees ended up being abused in some far-off place because the government closed Guantanamo in response to judicial meddling. Even those who support what the court did today may live to regret it."

UPDATE 2: I posted the following before but in view of todays Supreme Court decision I will repost it:

John Podhoretz in the New York Post a few year ago wrote:

``What if liberal democracies have now evolved to a point where they can no longer wage war effectively because they have achieved a level of humanitarian concern for others that dwarfs any really cold-eyed pursuit of their own national interests?"

Podhoretz goes on to ask if Britain and the United States could have won World War II if they ``did not have it in them to firebomb Dresden and nuke Hiroshima and Nagasaki," inflicting massive civilian casualties, and he ends with this reflection: ``Can it be that the moral greatness of our civilization -- its astonishing focus on the value of the individual above all -- is endangering the future of our civilization as well?"

UPDATE 3: John McCain on the subject

John McCain on Friday described the decision by the Supreme Court to allow Guantánamo Bay prisoners to challenge their detention in US courts as “one of the worst decisions in the history of this country”.

The Republican presidential candidate said he agreed with the four dissenting justices on the nine-member court that foreign fighters held at the detention camp were not entitled to the rights of US citizens.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Obama throws one more under the bus!

Barak Obama today threw Jim Johnson under the bus when Johnson resigned from Obama's vice presidential search committee. ( committee of three..... now two):

"A leader of Democrat Barack Obama's vice presidential research team has resigned amid criticism over his personal loan deals.

Obama announced in a statement Wednesday that Jim Johnson was stepping aside to avoid distracting from the vetting process.

Johnson served on the vetting team with former first daughter Caroline Kennedy and former Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder."

The following list is who we know about so far even though we aren’t one full week into the unofficial general election stage of the campaign:

Reverend Wright (anti-American racist spiritual leader, teacher, friend and adviser of 20 years)

Bill Ayers (American terrorist, neighbor and fellow board member)

Robert Malley (pro-Palestinian anti_Semitic Middle East adviser that met secretly with Hamas terrorists)

Tony Rezko (Convicted political deal maker that provided a sweetheart deal that no regular person could get on a chunk of land for Barack Obama and his wife. The loan came at a time while Rezko was already under the cloud of a federal indictment)

Father Phlegar (Trinity United regular, Obama supporter from the pulpit of his now former church and big mouthed embarrassment)

Trinity Church ( Obama's racist church of 20 years..... did you see the congregation jump up and cheer racist comments about Hilary Clinton and "Whites" in general.*

Maternal Grandmother (Obama "Just a typical white person")

Who next..... Michelle Obama ?

Recall, we are not supposed to discuss any of this because as Barack Obama says, the actual act of mentioning this in public is just a dirty game of politics.

*edited version of a posting on another blog

Monday, June 09, 2008

Two Wild and Crazy Guys! Part II

As posted below our son and I have been "batching it" for the last few days because my wife has been visiting our daughter in Washington DC. Friday night we went by The Colonel and got a barrel of chicken. I must be getting old because it gave me heat burn.
We than spent much of Friday night and Saturday watching the 13 hour "Adams Chronicles" mini series on DVD. I had already watched once but our son, the history grad student, wanted to watch it and I enjoyed watching it again. On Saturday I cleaned up the house and went to Jacksonville and did some shopping.

On Sunday I became the proud owner of a Play Station 3 Blu Ray player. Ever since "Blu Ray" beat out "HD-DVD" in the high definition format wars I have been wanting a Blu Ray player to play Blu Ray movies. To complicate matters they keep updating the Blu Ray players from profile 1 to profile 1.1 to 2. The advantage of the Play Station 3 is that it is like a computer that you can update the software on the Internet so as they improve blu ray players it can stay up to date. It also is one of the least expensive blue ray players on the market and it has an excellent picture. For weeks I have been tempted to buy one and this week Wal-Mart had a special deal which is unusual for a Play Station 3. The deal was if you buy one this week Wal-Mart would give you a $100. gift Certificate.So we were able to get a remote and some Blu Ray movies ("The Patriot", "Black Hawk Down" "We were Soldiers" and the latest James bond movie "Casino Royale") We also found a game for our son, NCAA Football 2008. So early Sunday morning we headed to Wal-Mart and got it and the movies. It was like "old times" when our son was 10 and we were in search of a special football card for one of our favorite players. He was excited because he likes to play games and I was excited because of it's ability to play Blu Ray movies. We first went to the Medford Wal-Mart where we got the machine. We then went to the Eagle Point Super Wal-Mart because they had a larger selection of Blu Ray movies. From there we went to the Rogue Valley Mall in search of the game. They didn't have it and we found a used one at a Bear Creek Plaza game store. We then got a milk shake and a "take and bake" pizza and headed home victorious. We then had to set it up and update it's memory. It took our collective intelligence? to set it up and figure a way to down load updates from the Internet. We also had to figure where to put it as we also have a VHS player, sound system and regular DVD player connected to the high definition TV. Good thing our son was home because the had a "flash card" to download the updates off our Internet computer and then transfer the data to the Play Station 3 which is in another room from the computer. I then did some yard work while our son played his football game. Later after we had the pizza we tried out both Blu Ray movies and regular DVD movies (it plays both)and the picture was outstanding on both but better on the Ble Ray movies. I have the latest "Casino Royale" on both Blu Ray and regular DVD and we compared scenes and you could tell the difference! There was one scene in a large library in the English Parliament building where there are thousands of books on shelves that are two stories high. With Blu Ray you could see the individual books clearly defined. It was like some one cleaned my glasses and the colors were so vivid. We even watched the final chapters of the "Adams Chronicles" on the Blu Ray player and it was a very good picture for a 1970's TV show. Better than on my regular DVD player. We ended the day with a glass of wine and watched some of the large battle scenes from "The Patriot" and also did comparisons between my regular DVD of it and the Blu Ray DVD . Yes, two wild and crazy guys!

Who to blame for High Gas Prices!

Next time you complain about high gas prices at the pump and blame President Bush look at the following facts.

Congressman Roy Blunt put together these data to highlight the differences between House Republicans and House Democrats on energy policy:

1. Alaskan ANWR Exploration:
House Republicans:91% Supported
House Democrats: 86% Opposed

2. Coal-to-Liquid
House Republicans: 97% Supported
House Democrats: 78% Opposed

3. Oil Shale Exploration
House Republicans: 90% Supported
House Democrats: 86% Opposed

4. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Exploration
House Republicans: 81% Supported
House Democrats: 83% Opposed

5. Refinery Increased Capacity
House Republicans: 97% Supported
House Democrats: 96% Opposed

91% of House Republicans have historically voted to increase the production of American-made oil and gas.

86% of House Democrats have historically voted against increasing the production of American-made oil and gas.

But the Democrats love to blame those greedy oil companies that have to buy if from the Saudis.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

I'll Be Back!

Hilary Clinton gives perfunctory endorsement to Barak Obama. He will need to watch his back!

Friday, June 06, 2008

Earnie Pyle's Columns from Normandy June 1944

Ernie Pyle was a Wold War II war corespondent who wrote from the common GI's point of view. Today for the first time I read some of his columns writen from Normandy during the D-Day operation and they are even after 64 years very poignant. Click on the title for a link to the columns. I will post just a few pargraphs to get you interested:

Now that it is over it seems to me a pure miracle that we ever took the beach at all. For some of our units it was easy, but in this special sector where I am now our troops faced such odds that our getting ashore was like my whipping Joe Louis down to a pulp.

In this column I want to tell you what the opening of the second front in this one sector entailed, so that you can know and appreciate and forever be humbly grateful to those both dead and alive who did it for you.


A Long Thin Line of Personal Anguish

NORMANDY BEACHHEAD, June 17, 1944 - In the preceding column we told about the D-day wreckage among our machines of war that were expended in taking one of the Normandy beaches.

But there is another and more human litter. It extends in a thin little line, just like a high-water mark, for miles along the beach. This is the strewn personal gear, gear that will never be needed again, of those who fought and died to give us our entrance into Europe.

Here in a jumbled row for mile on mile are soldiers’ packs. Here are socks and shoe polish, sewing kits, diaries, Bibles and hand grenades. Here are the latest letters from home, with the address on each one neatly razored out - one of the security precautions enforced before the boys embarked.

Here are toothbrushes and razors, and snapshots of families back home staring up at you from the sand. Here are pocketbooks, metal mirrors, extra trousers, and bloody, abandoned shoes. Here are broken-handled shovels, and portable radios smashed almost beyond recognition, and mine detectors twisted and ruined.

Here are torn pistol belts and canvas water buckets, first-aid kits and jumbled heaps of lifebelts. I picked up a pocket Bible with a soldier’s name in it, and put it in my jacket. I carried it half a mile or so and then put it back down on the beach. I don’t know why I picked it up, or why I put it back down.

Soldiers carry strange things ashore with them. In every invasion you’ll find at least one soldier hitting the beach at H-hour with a banjo slung over his shoulder. The most ironic piece of equipment marking our beach - this beach of first despair, then victory - is a tennis racket that some soldier had brought along. It lies lonesomely on the sand, clamped in its rack, not a string broken.

Two of the most dominant items in the beach refuse are cigarets and writing paper. Each soldier was issued a carton of cigarets just before he started. Today these cartons by the thousand, water-soaked and spilled out, mark the line of our first savage blow.

Writing paper and air-mail envelopes come second. The boys had intended to do a lot of writing in France. Letters that would have filled those blank, abandoned pages.

Always there are dogs in every invasion. There is a dog still on the beach today, still pitifully looking for his masters.

He stays at the water’s edge, near a boat that lies twisted and half sunk at the water line. He barks appealingly to every soldier who approaches, trots eagerly along with him for a few feet, and then, sensing himself unwanted in all this haste, runs back to wait in vain for his own people at his own empty boat.

Ernie Pyle was killed by a Japanese sniper on Okinawa on April 18, 1945 while reporting on the American attack on that island as part of the United State campaign against Japan.

Today is the 64th anniversary of D-Day

Ronald Reagan’s unforgettable Pointe du Hoc speech on the 40th anniversary.

We're here to mark that day in history when the Allied armies joined in battle to reclaim this continent to liberty. For four long years, much of Europe had been under a terrible shadow. Free nations had fallen, Jews cried out in the camps, millions cried out for liberation. Europe was enslaved, and the world prayed for its rescue. Here in Normandy the rescue began. Here the Allies stood and fought against tyranny in a giant undertaking unparalleled in human history.

We stand on a lonely, windswept point on the northern shore of France. The air is soft, but 40 years ago at this moment, the air was dense with smoke and the cries of men, and the air was filled with the crack of rifle fire and the roar of cannon. At dawn, on the morning of the 6th of June, 1944, 225 Rangers jumped off the British landing craft and ran to the bottom of these cliffs. Their mission was one of the most difficult and daring of the invasion: to climb these sheer and desolate cliffs and take out the enemy guns. The Allies had been told that some of the mightiest of these guns were here and they would be trained on the beaches to stop the Allied advance.

The Rangers looked up and saw the enemy soldiers--the edge of the cliffs shooting down at them with machine guns and throwing grenades. And the American Rangers began to climb. They shot rope ladders over the face of these cliffs and began to pull themselves up. When one Ranger fell, another would take his place. When one rope was cut, a Ranger would grab another and begin his climb again. They climbed, shot back, and held their footing. Soon, one by one, the Rangers pulled themselves over the top, and in seizing the firm land at the top of these cliffs, they began to seize back the continent of Europe. Two hundred and twenty-five came here. After two days of fighting, only 90 could still bear arms.

Behind me is a memorial that symbolizes the Ranger daggers that were thrust into the top of these cliffs. And before me are the men who put them there.

These are the boys of Pointe du Hoc. These are the men who took the cliffs. These are the champions who helped free a continent. These are the heroes who helped end a war.

Gentlemen, I look at you and I think of the words of Stephen Spender's poem. You are men who in your "lives fought for life . . . and left the vivid air signed with your honor.''

I think I know what you may be thinking right now--thinking, "We were just part of a bigger effort; everyone was brave that day.'' Well, everyone was. Do you remember the story of Bill Millin of the 51st Highlanders? Forty years ago today, British troops were pinned down near a bridge, waiting desperately for help. Suddenly, they heard the sound of bagpipes, and some thought they were dreaming. Well, they weren't. They looked up and saw Bill Millin with his bagpipes, leading the reinforcements and ignoring the smack of the bullets into the ground around him.

Lord Lovat was with him--Lord Lovat of Scotland, who calmly announced when he got to the bridge, "Sorry I'm a few minutes late,'' as if he'd been delayed by a traffic jam, when in truth he'd just come from the bloody fighting on Sword Beach, which he and his men had just taken.

There was the impossible valor of the Poles who threw themselves between the enemy and the rest of Europe as the invasion took hold, and the unsurpassed courage of the Canadians who had already seen the horrors of war on this coast. They knew what awaited them there, but they would not be deterred. And once they hit Juno Beach, they never looked back.

All of these men were part of a rollcall of honor with names that spoke of a pride as bright as the colors they bore: the Royal Winnipeg Rifles, Poland's 24th Lancers, the Royal Scots Fusiliers, the Screaming Eagles, the Yeomen of England's armored divisions, the forces of Free France, the Coast Guard's "Matchbox Fleet'' and you, the American Rangers.

Forty summers have passed since the battle that you fought here. You were young the day you took these cliffs; some of you were hardly more than boys, with the deepest joys of life before you. Yet, you risked everything here. Why? Why did you do it? What impelled you to put aside the instinct for self-preservation and risk your lives to take these cliffs? What inspired all the men of the armies that met here? We look at you, and somehow we know the answer. It was faith and belief; it was loyalty and love.

The men of Normandy had faith that what they were doing was right, faith that they fought for all humanity, faith that a just God would grant them mercy on this beachhead or on the next. It was the deep knowledge--and pray God we have not lost it--that there is a profound, moral difference between the use of force for liberation and the use of force for conquest. You were here to liberate, not to conquer, and so you and those others did not doubt your cause. And you were right not to doubt.

You all knew that some things are worth dying for. One's country is worth dying for, and democracy is worth dying for, because it's the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man. All of you loved liberty. All of you were willing to fight tyranny, and you knew the people of your countries were behind you.

The Americans who fought here that morning knew word of the invasion was spreading through the darkness back home. They thought--or felt in their hearts, though they couldn't know in fact, that in Georgia they were filling the churches at 4 a.m., in Kansas they were kneeling on their porches and praying, and in Philadelphia they were ringing the Liberty Bell.

Something else helped the men of D-Day: their rock-hard belief that Providence would have a great hand in the events that would unfold here; that God was an ally in this great cause. And so, the night before the invasion, when Colonel Wolverton asked his parachute troops to kneel with him in prayer he told them: Do not bow your heads, but look up so you can see God and ask His blessing in what we're about to do. Also that night, General Matthew Ridgway on his cot, listening in the darkness for the promise God made to Joshua: "I will not fail thee nor forsake thee.''

These are the things that impelled them; these are the things that shaped the unity of the Allies.

When the war was over, there were lives to be rebuilt and governments to be returned to the people. There were nations to be reborn. Above all, there was a new peace to be assured. These were huge and daunting tasks. But the Allies summoned strength from the faith, belief, loyalty, and love of those who fell here. They rebuilt a new Europe together.

There was first a great reconciliation among those who had been enemies, all of whom had suffered so greatly. The United States did its part, creating the Marshall Plan to help rebuild our allies and our former enemies. The Marshall Plan led to the Atlantic alliance--a great alliance that serves to this day as our shield for freedom, for prosperity, and for peace.

In spite of our great efforts and successes, not all that followed the end of the war was happy or planned. Some liberated countries were lost. The great sadness of this loss echoes down to our own time in the streets of Warsaw, Prague, and East Berlin. Soviet troops that came to the center of this continent did not leave when peace came. They're still there, uninvited, unwanted, unyielding, almost 40 years after the war. Because of this, Allied forces still stand on this continent. Today, as 40 years ago, our armies are here for only one purpose--to protect and defend democracy. The only territories we hold are memorials like this one and graveyards where our heroes rest.

We in America have learned bitter lessons from two World Wars: It is better to be here ready to protect the peace than to take blind shelter across the sea, rushing to respond only after freedom is lost. We've learned that isolationism never was and never will be an acceptable response to tyrannical governments with an expansionist intent.

But we try always to be prepared for peace; prepared to deter aggression; prepared to negotiate the reduction of arms; and, yes, prepared to reach out again in the spirit of reconciliation. In truth, there is no reconciliation we would welcome more than a reconciliation with the Soviet Union, so, together, we can lessen the risks of war, now and forever.

It's fitting to remember here the great losses also suffered by the Russian people during World War II: 20 million perished, a terrible price that testifies to all the world the necessity of ending war. I tell you from my heart that we in the United States do not want war. We want to wipe from the face of the Earth the terrible weapons that man now has in his hands. And I tell you, we are ready to seize that beachhead. We look for some sign from the Soviet Union that they are willing to move forward, that they share our desire and love for peace, and that they will give up the ways of conquest. There must be a changing there that will allow us to turn our hope into action.

We will pray forever that some day that changing will come. But for now, particularly today, it is good and fitting to renew our commitment to each other, to our freedom, and to the alliance that protects it.

We are bound today by what bound us 40 years ago, the same loyalties, traditions, and beliefs. We're bound by reality. The strength of America's allies is vital to the United States, and the American security guarantee is essential to the continued freedom of Europe's democracies. We were with you then; we are with you now. Your hopes are our hopes, and your destiny is our destiny.

Here, in this place where the West held together, let us make a vow to our dead. Let us show them by our actions that we understand what they died for. Let our actions say to them the words for which Matthew Ridgway listened: "I will not fail thee nor forsake thee.''

Strengthened by their courage, heartened by their value [valor], and borne by their memory, let us continue to stand for the ideals for which they lived and died.

Thank you very much, and God bless you all.

Note: The President spoke at 1:20 p.m. at the site of the U.S. Ranger Monument at Pointe du Hoc, France, where veterans of the Normandy invasion had assembled for the ceremony.

Following his remarks, the President unveiled memorial plaques to the 2nd and 5th Ranger Battalions. Then, escorted by Phil Rivers, superintendent of the Normandy American Cemetery, the President and Mrs. Reagan proceeded to the interior of the observation bunker. On leaving the bunker, the President and Mrs. Reagan greeted each of the veterans.

"Crisis On Omaha"

Michelle Malkin on her blog has a youTube video produced last year by The Combat Report on how today’s media would have covered the 1944 Normandy invasion. It's very funny but also very true! Click on the title for a link

Thursday, June 05, 2008

We Remember !

We will always remember. We will always be proud. We will always be prepared, so we will always be free.
Ronald Reagan
(Feb 6, 1911- June 5, 2004)

Thanks to "The Gipper." It was four years ago today you left us.

Texan returning to Normandy 64 years later

Love stories like this! D-Day June 6,1944

Star-Telegram Staff Writer
BALLINGER -- Dawson Moreland went over his preflight checklist one more time.
He had his passport.

His medicine was packed.

Clothing included a white dress shirt, a tie and his favorite black suit, the one he wears every Sunday to First Baptist Church.

It's a long, long way from this small West Texas town to the beaches of Normandy in France.

The World War II pilot -- Capt. Moreland went by "Hank" then -- never dreamed that at age 90 he would return to that place where he risked his life, where he lost friends. He can still see their faces, forever young, those "boys" he called them who died in the pre-dawn hours of June 6, 1944.

The night before the D-Day invasion, Moreland flew a transport plane loaded with American paratroopers.

The mission called for them to jump out into the darkness, behind enemy lines, near Utah Beach and the village of St. Mere Eglise. Other C-47s dropped soldiers above Normandy's easternmost Sword Beach. Their goal was to take out the big guns at the concrete Merville battery, part of the fortified coastal wall built by the Germans to repel an Allied sea assault.

Moreland's plane encountered a mighty assault from anti-aircraft fire.

"Boy, they cut loose on us," he recalled.

Two bullets pierced the fuselage. When a searchlight spotted the American aircraft, washing it in white light, Moreland immediately dropped altitude, nosing lower, taking the plane lower still, until his co-pilot turned to him with alarm and said, "Hank, you're getting close to the ground!"

"I leveled out right then," he said, "and we got out."

The Texan and his crew returned the next day and, under fire again, dropped supplies to the commandos.

Moreland doesn't embellish the harrowing experience or portray himself as heroic.

"It's not bravery," he insisted in a measured voice. "You're just trying to get the job done. I don't mind telling you I was talkin' to the Lord all the time. If anything brought me through, that did."

Moreland served his country for five years, three months, 21 days "and 45 minutes" and then returned to the tranquility of civilian life. He operated a gas station, sold trailers and served as postmaster in Snyder before retiring. He's now a great-grandfather, content living out his years in this town of 4,000, relaxing at home on his covered back porch with his wife, Ruth, and their potted red geraniums.

From a lounge chair he occasionally fires his scoped BB gun at a paper-plate target nailed to the trunk of a nearby mesquite tree.

This long trip, this improbable, sentimental journey he will make across the ocean this week, is a reminder of life's surprises.

"The whole thing dropped out of the sky on us," Moreland said.

An unfamiliar caller

It began in January, when the telephone rang.

Ruth Moreland answered. The man's voice, which she didn't recognize, asked whether Hank Moreland lived there.

"Yes, he does," she replied.

A long silence followed.

"You mean he's still alive?"

"He certainly is," Ruth assured. "Would you like to speak to him?"

Chris Buckner, who was calling from Baytown, is the son of the late Joseph R. "Buck" Buckner. Moreland and Buck Buckner had flown together during World War II, with Buckner serving as Moreland's radio operator. Buckner died five years ago at 88.

Chris Buckner asked Moreland whether he remembered the tail number of the last C-47 he flew.

"Oh-seven-three," Moreland said.

Excited, Buckner spent the next hour sharing a remarkable story. Officials in the French village of Merville had been searching for a World War II cargo plane to place in the Merville Battery Museum as a symbol of D-Day. Last year, a French soldier who learned of the quest remembered seeing an abandoned C-47 at an air base near Sarajevo when he was serving as a peacekeeper in Bosnia in the 1990s.

The soldier checked the plane's serial number: 43-15073.

Records show that the twin-engine aircraft had participated in the D-Day parachute drops. The plane also survived supply drops in Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge and was flown in Operation Market Garden, depicted in the movie A Bridge Too Far.

After the war, the plane was sold to Czech Airlines and then to the French air force in 1960. Yugoslavia acquired the aircraft in 1972. It hasn't flown since being riddled by machine-gun fire during Bosnia's war for independence 14 years ago.

Last year its World War II flight log was found in the cockpit.

The document listed dates and names of the American crew members. One was Buck Buckner.

Another was its last WW II pilot, Henry D. Moreland.

Buckner's son said Moreland and Eugene Nobel, who lives in Tulsa, are believed to be the only living pilots of that C-47, nicknamed the SNAFU Special.

Although it's not the same aircraft Moreland flew on D-Day, he piloted the SNAFU Special on numerous dangerous missions in 1945.

Moreland was amazed to learn that the old plane still existed.

"When I flew it, our main purpose was furnishing gasoline for Patton's bunch," Moreland said, referring to Gen. George Patton and the 3rd Army. "We went to whatever field he was closest to and unloaded gas in 5-gallon cans."

Last year the presidents of Bosnia and Herzegovina released the plane to France.

French engineers dismantled the relic and trucked it to Normandy, where it will be permanently displayed at the Merville museum.

After Moreland spoke with Buckner, he received a call from Beatrice Guillaume, the Merville deputy mayor and museum administrator.

She invited him to attend the celebration June 5-7.

'I'll get there'

Ruth Moreland is quite pleased that this event could happen during her husband's lifetime.

"It was supposed to be" she said of the C-47's discovery.

"He deserves to go."

Moreland figures that the travel, at his age, will be exhausting, but he is determined and excited.

"I'll get there," he vowed, "slow as that may be."

His son, Keith, and Keith's family are accompanying him on the 9 1/2 -hour flight from Dallas/Fort Worth. From Paris they will take a van to Merville, near Caen.

Chris Buckner will meet them there, as will the widows and families of several of the other crewmen.

Moreland provided a roll call of names: Buckner ... Nerren ... Harper ... Schiff ... Charles Allman, in 1944 "a tall slender boy." All gone now.

He thought of the "escape kit" each of the fliers carried, to be used if their plane went down. The packet contained a map of Holland, Belgium, France and Germany, printed on a square of silk. After the war, Moreland's first wife wore it as a scarf. Later, he folded it and put it away for safekeeping.

He packed his Sunday best to wear on June 7, the date of the plane's dedication.

The next day he plans visit the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, "where some of my buddies are buried."

More than 9,000 Americans lie at rest in that peaceful garden of stones.

Their graves face west, toward home.

"I'll take it as it comes," the pilot said, bracing himself for a flood tide of memories and some tears.

Last August my wife and I along with our daughter visited the American Cemetery at the Normandy D-Day beaches pictured above. D-Day was the beginning of the liberation of Europe from the Nazi nightmare. It's a powerful place to visit and a reminder that appeasement of evil by democratic governments leads to war, slavery and the worst kind of atrocities known to man.

Update on Michell Obama Rumor

Reason Magazine, (libertarian) has a good review of the Michell Obama rumor and how it has circulated around the Internet and is very skeptical that such a tape exists. To read the article click on the title above. A well reasoned article. Sorry for the Pun!

Two Wild and Crazy Guys!

Our son and I will be "batching" it for the next few days. At 5 am this morning I drove my wife to the Jackson County "International" Airport to catch a plane for Washington DC where she will be visiting our daughter for a long weekend. Our daughter who works and lives there is a member of a musical group in her spare time and will be performing at the Kennedy Center and my wife wanted to be there for the performance. They have a number of other activities planed and I hope they have a great time together. As proud as I am of our daughter, who works in government, it is hard when one of your kids lives on the other side of the United States. Therefore, its wonderful that her mother can make this trip.I will be "holding the fort" at work.

I am alone now, but not for long. Our Son is returning home for the summer this evening after earning his masters degree in history. He has been "on the road" for the last three days. He will work here in Medford before he goes back East to work on his PhD in History in the fall. When you live on the West Coast anything east of the Mississippi River is "back east". Then, both of our kids will be a long way from home so we will enjoy having him home for the Summer.

Thus, this weekend he and I will be "two wild and crazy guys". Ya, sure. To us "wild" is going out and getting a bucket of chicken from Colonel Sanders at KFC. My wife thinks it's too greasy so we don't have it very often. We may also get a pizza delivered one night and may make a trip to the new Arbys. Then, we might do something very crazy and go to a movie that starts after 8 pm and have a late night desert at an all night restaurant. We could go to an "art" movie in Ashland! We could go to the new Indiana Jones movie! At home we can play our music loud on the stereo. But, we will not be totally irresponsible because before she left my wife left me a list of thing I need to do like clean the cats litter box every other day.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

McCain vs Obama

Barak Obama on Winning the Democrat Nomination:

We will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth."

John McCain:

"I don’t seek the presidency on the presumption I’m blessed with such personal greatness that history has anointed me to save my country in its hour of need,” “I seek the office with the humility of a man who cannot forget my country saved me.”

.....They might think me an imperfect servant of our country, which I surely am. But I am her servant first, last and always. ….

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Hillary Clinton Wins South Dakota

All day the media has been telling the Democrat Voters of South Dakota that Barak Obama was their Presidential Nominee. South Dakota Democrats said not so fast. Now Obama limps across the finish line, a wounded candidate, that has a hard core of far left zealots...... the Democrat party has been here before ........can you say George McGovern. The press loved him too.

John McCain to speak to nation tonight!

Senator John McCain plans to kickoff the general election campaign with a speech in suburban New Orleans Tuesday night. Part of his prepared remarks:

You will hear from my opponent’s campaign in every speech, every interview, every press release that I’m running for President Bush’s third term. You will hear every policy of the President described as the Bush-McCain policy. Why does Senator Obama believe it’s so important to repeat that idea over and over again? Because he knows it’s very difficult to get Americans to believe something they know is false. So he tries to drum it into your minds by constantly repeating it rather than debate honestly the very different directions he and I would take the country. But the American people didn’t get to know me yesterday, as they are just getting to know Senator Obama. They know I have a long record of bipartisan problem solving. They’ve seen me put our country before any President — before any party — before any special interest — before my own interest. They might think me an imperfect servant of our country, which I surely am. But I am her servant first, last and always. ….

I disagreed strongly with the Bush administration’s mismanagement of the war in Iraq. I called for the change in strategy that is now, at last, succeeding where the previous strategy had failed miserably. I was criticized for doing so by Republicans. I was criticized by Democrats. I was criticized by the press. But I don’t answer to them. I answer to you. And I would be ashamed to admit I knew what had to be done in Iraq to spare us from a defeat that would endanger us for years, but I kept quiet because it was too politically hard for me to do. No ambition is more important to me than the security of the country I have defended all my adult life.

Bob Beckel is worried!

Democratic Strategist Bob Beckel on Fox & Friends this morning said there is a rumor about Michelle Obama that "worries me" and that it is " a very big shoe" if it drops. Click on the title for the video of Beckel's statement. This is Not a Republican or right wing source but from a respected Democratic strategist.

UPDATE: but, this from Michelle Malkin's blog:

Many readers are wondering why I have not written a single word about the rumored Michelle Obama “whitey” video.

Simple: Larry Johnson, the main source of the rumors, is not, not, not to be trusted.

Moreover: The story keeps changing.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Crosby Stills & Nash Britt Concert

(Pictures,Yesterday and Today)Last night my wife and I attended the Crosby, Stills & Nash concert at the Britt Festival in Jacksonville, Oregon near Medford. It was a beautiful night in Southern Oregon and the Britt Festival has a wonderful concert stage under the stars where concert goers watch the concert sitting on blankets under pine trees on a sloping hill facing the stage with the lights of Medford in the background. It's a Jackson County Park where many concert goers bring fancy picnic dinners with wine. It's a favorite for the 'Wine and Cheese crowd" The weather was perfect and the concert was "sold out" with over 2000 in attendance. The crowd was very mellow and was predominately aging baby boomers. Some of the concert goers had not yet outgrown their love of a certain kind of weed. My wife and I found a nice spot on the grass and laid out our blanket and had some dinner my wife had made. I visited the vendors selling concert souvenirs and bought the original remastered expanded CD album "Crosby, Still & Nash" released in 2006 of their 1969 album.

The group started promptly at 7:30 pm and with about a 30 minute intermission ended without an encore at 10:PM. I was disappointed! Putting the Bush/McCain bashing aside (You assume that risk at a CS&N concert) the music was what the group wanted to play and for the most part not what the crowd wanted the hear. One of the members said words to the effect that we decided to play what we wanted to play tonight. They did not sing "Suite:Judy Blue Eyes" "Marakesh Express" , "Woodstock" and my favorite "Teach Your Children" The high point for the crowd was when they did play "Our House." They also sang "Guinnevere" "Deja Vu" "Helplessly Hoping"and ended with a nice version of "Wooden Ships." The group seemed to enjoy themselves and as the reviewer of the Mail Tribune said they did "a generous show" However, I wanted to hear all the old songs. In the song "Garden Party" written and sung by Ricky Nelson, he says:"But if memories were all I sang, I rather drive a truck." I understand that, but I wanted to hear "Teach Your Children" sung live. According to the blog over at the Santa Rosa, Pressdemocrat, in California where they had a concert the night before, they did sing "Teach Your Children" in a "sing along" at the end of that concert.

A few years ago we went to a concert of the Simon & Garfunkel reunion tour in Portland, Oregon at the Rose Garden and they did sing all the old songs and seemed to enjoy it. I sure did. I didn't get that same feeling Sunday night. Still, it was a pleasant night and I did hear "Teach You Children" and "Merrakesh Express" on our car's CD player as we followed the bands expensive, huge RV on the way out of town. I wonder what it's carbon footprint is!

According to The Rolling Stone "Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll, Crosby Stills & Nash's top single hits at their highest point on the charts in descending order:

"Woodstock" # 11 (Did not perform)
"Teach Your Children" #16 (Did not Perform)
"Suite: To Judy Blue Eyes" #21 (Did not perform)
"Marrakesh Express" #28 (Did not Perform)
"Our House" # 30 *

* only one performed at Britt Sunday night

They only preformed one of their top 5 hits! I guess they would rather drive a truck.

UPDATE: Click on a title for a review of their concert in Victoria, BC on Tuesday night. Doesn't sound like they sang their big hits there either. At least the original singers are still with the group. So many of these nostalgia groups from the 1950's/1960's/1970's have new members performing partially or in total and the only thing they have is the name of the original group.